A hard life.

Earlier this year I met a single mom with 6 young children. None of their dads are around.

I think about her a lot.

 Her life is hard, and will continue to be hard.

She came up to me after my workshop, looking tired but hopeful for some morsel of advice about how to point her children in the right direction. She wants something different and better for them than what she has experienced. I wanted to hug her and wished I could somehow fix things, but instead I asked her to sit down, and listened to her story for a while. Among  MANY other things she is frightened by the messages she is finding on her 6th grade daughter’s phone.

All I could say was:  Pray. Keep talking. Keep listening. Stay involved.

When we are frightened, when our children seem out of control, when the concerns of our hearts seem overwhelming, there is no other remedy that I know of but to turn to the Lord. He is the only One who has Light and Hope and is able to redeem these situations.

Talk to God about your kids, talk to your kids about God. Point to His design.

I can’t give you her name, but I ask for your prayers for her and her family tonight.

She  sheepishly asked if it was OK that she had looked at her daughter’s text messages.

I put my arm around her and said that it was.

Don’t we need to know what our children are facing?

Tough stuff.

2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Anna said,

    I will pray for her. I can’t imagine! I’m sure she wants better for her children. I think it’s also a little heartbreaking that she was guilty about looking at her 12 year old’s text messages. Even though he can’t understand me, yet, I tell my son, “I know you are unhappy with my decision, but God put me here to protect you and give you boundaries. It’s my job to make the right decision, even if you don’t like it!”

  2. 2

    Kim Harrell said,

    I will pray for her and for her children, as well. It must have taken a good deal of courage for her to attend one of your talks! She loves her children and received very good guidance from you. Regarding reading cell phone messages, facebook accounts, and all of the other electronic lines that open the whole wide world up to our children in an instant – all of it – the good, the bad and the ugliest of ugly, I have found my answer. I feel responsible to 1. limit my child’s access to all of this, 2. continually stay engaged in conversation regarding this issue and let the child experience some of the hurts himself, 3. require that my children give me signin and password information on any account that they open. I had a zero tolerance policy on this for my now 18 year old and he learned to use good judgement and balance. My 12 year old daughter, however, is getting quite out of control with facebook, especially. There have been so many new avenues of technology opened to our children in just the last 5 years that it is almost impossible for us parents to keep up, but we must! Our parents knew who our friends were, what our plans were, who had a crush on who, etc. because they could overhear our telephone conversations. That is not possible any longer. I let my zero tolerance policy slide for my daughter and now the two of us are paying some emotional and social price for it. I am seriously considering cancelling our cable (we have only had it since last winter) and I log on to my daughter’s facebook account every day now. We have AT&T cell phone service, and I pay $5.00 per month to be able to limit the times of day she can use her phone, what numbers are allowed to be called and to be received and more. A friend uses a service called kidswatch.com and also recommends safeeyes.com. They limit the websites the kids can access and more.
    WE ARE IN UNCHARTED TERRITORY, FELLOW PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS regarding the new media tools. I would rather err on the safe side for my child. My 12 year old doesn’t like my boundaries, but my 18 year old son recently thanked me for teaching him about the advantages and dangers of all things “screens.”

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